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Digital advice pivotal to sustainable development

digital advice sustainable

Digital financial advice can play a meaningful role in helping to achieve the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

Financial advice delivered electronically is set to play a vital role in achieving the United Nations’ sustainable development goals (SDG), a digital advice organisation has said.

This position has been communicated by Ignition Advice in a paper, entitled “Digital advice and social responsibility”, that demonstrates the positive effect financial advice can have on issues such as well-being, poverty, a sustainable economy and financial inequality.

“We’re quite proud that as a digital advice organisation that we’ve done the research [into this subject] and put together a paper that is really designed for CEOs or boards or management to contemplate what are the activities that they’re going to do with respect to social responsibility,” Ignition Advice Asia-Pacific chief executive Craig Keary said.

Keary highlighted two of the issues, the first being ending poverty in all its forms, to demonstrate how digital advice can make a significant difference.

“If you think about digital advice, particularly if it is [delivered] in an affordable way really to provide people with those basic insights [and] the basic skills to help them, whether it’s starting a savings plan or whether it’s getting the right level of insurance cover, that is something that works in ending poverty,” he noted.

He also acknowledged how digital advice can improve people’s well-being.

“Financial advice absolutely can improve somebody’s happiness and can improve somebody’s well-being,” he noted.

“There’s research on this that says if somebody just knows that they’ve seen a financial adviser, or they’ve had some form of financial advice, that they immediately feel happier. So there’s a direct link with well-being.”

Ignition Advice Asia-Pacific head of clients Robert Coulter said the concepts in the paper have resonated well at an institutional level.

“Boards are really leaning into [the concept of] how do we meaningfully connect with people and how do we allow them to access advice and, by the way, we are only talking about single-issue advice,” Coulter observed.

“It is genuinely one of the top three things [of what] boards think about.”

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